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Second suspect arrested in murder of UW-Whitewater graduate Purcell Pearson

Posted at 5:52 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 18:52:21-04

The second suspect in the shooting of Purcell Pearson was arrested in San Diego, California on Tuesday, according to Milwaukee police. Pearson was just 22 years old when he was shot and killed while selling glasses over a year ago.

Ismael Moreno was on the run for over a year. The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office charged him with with First Degree Reckless Homicide – Party to a Crime last year.

The other suspect, Tyrell Joseph was sentenced to nine years in prison in connection to the murder of Pearson in March. The judge also handed down six years of extended supervision for Joseph. Joseph's one year in jail already will count towards time-served. He plead guilty to 2nd Degree Reckless Homicide - as a Party to a Crime.

Tyrell D. Joseph and Ismael E. Moreno
Tyrell D. Joseph and Ismael E. Moreno

Police said the deadly shooting happened during a Facebook marketplace meet-up to sell designer glasses on Feb. 6, 2021.

A criminal complaint states Pearson's brother told police at the time that Pearson was selling glasses, and the suspects robbed him and shot him.
The Medical Examiner's Office concluded Pearson died from two gunshot wounds, in his chest and in his back.

Purcell Pearson
Purcell Pearson

The brother told detectives in an interview that he and Pearson had been selling designer glasses for three to four months. They would buy glasses on DHGate and then sell them in Milwaukee on OfferUp and Facebook.

About a week before the homicide, they posted Cartier glasses for $400, the complaint states. A person by the name of Pablo Fernandez messaged them, saying he was interested in buying them.

Pearson appears to have met the interested buyer in person, who told Pearson that the glasses were not tight enough and wanted to buy two pairs for $500. Pearson went back to their apartment, fixed the glasses and returned to the street, according to prosecutors.

Outside the apartment, Pearson's brother found Pearson standing next to a van. A short time later, his brother heard a gunshot and found Pearson lying in the street near where was van was parked, the complaint states.

Investigators tracked the name Pablo Fernandez on “OfferUp” to a 262 area code phone number belonging to an adult woman. In 2019, the woman had been interviewed by police, when she told them her son was Tyrell D. Joseph, who at the time had been shot in the leg, according to prosecutors.

Surveillance video narrowed down the suspected van involved in the homicide as a blue Toyota Sienna minivan. It had been left across an alley where Joseph's family lives.

Joseph's grandfather, who lives there, confirmed to investigators Joseph's identity in surveillance footage. The grandfather also confirmed to police the identity of Ismael E. Moreno in surveillance footage.

Pearson, a UW-Whitewater graduate, was honored with a City of Milwaukee proclamation. He was also recognized by leaders of the state of Wisconsin and U.S. House of Representatives.

At his alma mater, there’s a scholarship in his name.

To donate to the Purcell Alex Pearson Achievement Scholarship, visit here.

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